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Goldman Sachs Analysts Question Whether Curing Patients Is Good for Business (Gizmodo)

When I first saw this headline I thought it was supposed to be a satire piece about big pharma. Apparently not. Quotes on the next two pages, and commentary on the last.

"Recent advancements in science and medicine have put cures within reach for diseases that have long plagued humankind.

In a recent report, though, Goldman Sachs analysts posed an uncomfortable question that quickly sparked criticism. 'Is curing patients a sustainable business model?'"

"One-and-done cures enabled by gene editing, analyst Salveen Richter wrote in the note to clients this week, are near-miraculous innovations that stand to benefit patients immensely.

But they also present a challenge to business.

'While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow,' he wrote."

Surely, we all agree that eliminating a disease is a valuable endeavor and an efficient use of resources, since it would allow us to allocate the resources to be used elsewhere in creating value, like curing a different disease, for example.

Well, apparently not all of us agree, according to an analyst at investment banking company. And the worst part is that his analysis is logical, but only if we start with the assumption that the goal is to maximize profit instead of value.

Value does not equal profit. Valuable things can be unprofitable, as we see here.

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United States of America, Fremont
26 comments
JHel🌐🌶🍏
Pro Creator
Don’t let communists read this dreadful expression of western liberalism.
FlemingFarm🌱
Life in a corporatocracy where $>life
16
Nina One
Capitalist values could not be more plain. And sickening.
15
Zênite
And then there are those who insist Capitalism is a good thing.
1
JHel🌐🌶🍏
Pro Creator
Rather the bottom rank in the „number of flaws table“ for concepts with a reality test. And a firm last rank. 😐
Zênite
JHel 🌐🌶🍏: Yeah, sure, keep dreaming.
qam2112
More money in treatments than in cures
Philo 0316Author
More value in cure than treatments though
10
qam2112
Agree, but these are billionaire no interest in values just money that's why they sitting at the top
12
Human-ITy
I read this the other day & as much as it initially blew my mind...I wasn't surprised as it's been obvious, but to blatantly question the value of business over the value human life is abominable. Regarding genome medicine developers & sustained cash flow for further research is a call for unconditional basic income. https://sola.ai/posts/YjQyMzMw/ Reinforcing ethical approaches to how we assign value & liberate dignity.
15
Hanover Fiste
This is one of the most evil companies left on the planet. Let's see what others have to say: https://www.cancercenter.com seems to find it very profitable to cure people. They have great success. Did you know that when you cure one, another takes their place? It's like saying a bone doctor doesn't want to fix your broken arm because there's more money in leaving it broken. Dumb...
10
Philo 0316Author
Cancer point is actually addressed by the analysts! "Where an incident pool remains stable (eg, in cancer) the potential for a cure poses less risk to the sustainability of a franchise." But for other diseases, like hepatitis C, the cure has been working and fewer and fewer people have hep C now, because there are fewer patients who can infect other patients.
10
Hanover Fiste
Philo 0316, there will always be money to be made. We don't need to keep people on hep c treatment to make money. We don't need to treat cancer instead of cure just to make money. There will always be more work to do. There IS however a problem that's caused by both doctors and patients. Our drive thru culture desires instant results. Got pain? We got a drug. Got issues? We can fix the symptoms quickly. Doctors who seek cures loose patients. They only want to feel better. The doc who gets that done faster gets return patients.
Philo 0316Author
Hanover Fiste, I think you're not understanding the issue. Why should Goldman Sachs keep funding Gilead if they're making unprofitable hep C cure? Even if we assume that Gilead wants to completely eradicate hep C, it would mean Goldman Sachs has no incentive to keep funding Gilead, and Gilead is thus pressured to stop making the cure and allocate their resources into something more profitable. This is not about making treatments instead of cures to keep people on medicine. Cancer is completely unrelated here. Goldman Sachs is fine with funding for cancer cures. The issue with curing cancer is moreso that there are many different types of cancer, and thus no such thing as a universal "cure to cancer" exists. What you're saying about quick results has absolutely no bearing on what an investment banking company wants to invest in.
20
Hanover Fiste
Philo 0316, ok I gotcha. Goldman is an evil entity and I never liked them. Surely someone will finance them, but in the end the recipient or their insurance should be providing the funding. If it's not profitable, the price needs to increase. If it's too expensive, this is when the government should be looking at it. You know I'm for small government, but there are times when it's needed. Everything is pretty much done for profit, but the financers should only worry about whether or not they're getting their interest. They shouldn't be micro managing whom they finance.
Hyde
You think Goldman sachs will stop the funding because it is not profitable? They might, however not everyone is interested in Goldman Sachs profit line. There are competitors that may be interested in making the cure and making the money as well as making a name for themselves to run Goldman psych out of business of to take a lion's share of the market. You want an even more motivated player, think about health insurance companies. Bringing this drug to Market would directly increase their bottom line in competition with Goldman Sachs. It would directly lower their costs by lowering their payouts. . Nevermind politicians are involved and now everyone is on the same side except for you and I (the base consumer)
Philo 0316Author
Hyde, I think an investment bank will only fund things that are the most profitable. I don't think other investment banks will have any incentive to fund an operation that isn't very profitable. It isn't a Lion's share like you say, which is exactly why I think investors will stop funding this drug soon, at least not until Hep C becomes more common again. This will happen in any system that holds profit to be of utmost importance. Government involvement is irrelevant.
10
Hanover Fiste
Philo 0316, no a bank will fund whatever pays the interest rate. Even if they break even. A non profit can get a loan.you can get a loan to buy a car or house and those don't make profits.
Viqueen
The good news is that everybody can do their share in trying to prevent ever needing the "help" of big pharma. Yes, it cannot be avoided in some cases, but all in all those handfuls of drugs being swallowed daily by people (especially in the US) are unnecessary and completely avoidable. At least in the current amounts. Examples: antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, ADHD drugs, cholesterol control drugs. People need to take responsibility for their own health, and first and foremost it means changing their diet: stop eating processed foods and crap.
11
Human-ITy
Get that gut microbiome on point!
3
Viqueen
Human-ITy, ditto! Nurture it, care for it, and you both will be healthier and happier in the long run.
Chickonthenet
Goldman sacs is in the money making business. Thats their stated goal and their duty to their share holders. This has nothing to do with actually finding cures or treating people. They just are choosing not to invest there. If you look at their philanthropy arm they DONATE heavily. But these are donations not investments. That’s literally all this means. Medical professionals, research companies, charitable and capitalist people will still invest in cures, donate time and money to cures and people will continue to live longer UNLESS, you let the government take over where they place a value on your life and actually bar people from treating because you will be a drain on society...see new laws on mandated abortions for moms who test positive to carrying a downs baby, for Elfie and Charlie Gard, for the elderly denied care because well they will die anyway not because they cant pay or there is no treatment but because the government decided you are not worth it.
Philo 0316Author
Yes, you're right. That's what I am pointing out. Because their goal is profit rather than value (which are clearly two different concepts, as we can see here), we end up with a strange situation like this where there is less incentive to fund an effective cure.
Philo 0316Author
And you do know that mandated abortion isn't a real thing, right?
Chickonthenet
Philo 0316, there is no less incentive. Money is only 1 type of incentive. Because GS chooses not to invest only to donate has no affect on humanity wanting to find a cure if they are indeed good. So basically you either believe people are inherently good and will choose to do right by humanity or people are evil and you must force them to do what’s right by assigning rulers. When you assign rulers, who guarantees the rulers are good? Rulers are just people too. So you have a catch 22, you either believe people are good and will choose without monetary gain to do what’s right which means not worrying about GS investing or you believe people are evil in which case they won’t choose to find a cure unless if directly affects them.
Philo 0316Author
Chickonthenet, I think you're derailing, so I'm going to assume that was accidental. The point of my post isn't that Goldman Sachs is evil or whatever. My point is that value and profit are not the same concepts, and that by focusing on maximizing profit alone, we end up in a situation where value suffers. This has nothing to do with people being intently good or evil, and it has nothing to do with giving more or less power to rulers. This area is simply dedicated to ending the false belief that profit represents value generated.
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